Predicting PSG’s Lineup Against Pau: Neymar Out; Mbappé In

Paris Saint-Germain returns to action on Wednesday night as they face Pau FC in the Round of 16 of the Coupe de France.

Making the trip to the Stade du Hameau is a 21-man squad that is a mix of youngsters and seasoned veterans.

We already knew that Juan Bernat, Marquinhos, and Thiago Silva would be out due to injury. The rest of the absences, which include Abdou Diallo, Thomas Meunier, Keylor Navas, and Neymar Jr., are being held out most likely so they can rest. It’s been a very busy January and the match against Pau is PSG’s fifth consecutive road match.

Edinson Cavani is also out of the team but as you’re well aware, he is on the verge of a transfer to Atlético Madrid.

On the plus side, manager Thomas Tuchel will have Kylian Mbappé, Marco Verratti, Angel Di Maria, Mauro Icardi, and several other stars available to him. However, I really hope he is careful with his lineup decision considering the poor condition of the pitch.

One surprising inclusion in the squad for Pau is Layvin Kurzawa. The Frenchman was rumored to be included in a swap deal for Juventus FC defender Mattia De Sciglio but that appears to have stalled and Kurzawa will most likely remain in Paris for the rest of the season.

Tuchel has previously stated that he wants to win everything and that he will field a strong team against Pau. With that in mind, here is my preferred starting XI:

Formation: 4-3-3

Goalkeeper: Sergio Rico

Defenders: Layvin Kurzawa, Presnel Kimpembe, Tanguy Kouassi, Colin Dagba

Midfielders: Ander Herrera, Idrissa Gueye, Adil Aouchiche

Forwards: Pablo Sarabia, Julian Draxler, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

The match should be another opportunity to watch youngsters Tanguy Kouassi and Adil Aouchiche. Both have yet to sign a professional contract with the club so hopefully, additional playing time will convince them to sign long-term.

Also, keep an eye on Kurzawa. With Bernat and Diallo out, there’s no other option at left-back. How will the failed transfer to Juventus affect him mentally?

Pau will not be a pushover despite their status in the Championnat National (the third division of French football). They reached this stage in the tournament by defeating Girondins de Bordeaux 3-2 at home and they’ll be looking to claim another Ligue 1 scalp against the reigning French champions.

No matter what happens in the match, though, Mbappé, Di Maria, Icardi, and Verratti, absolutely cannot feature against Pau. The pitch is too dangerous and any injury could impact the much more important tie against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League, with the first match set for February 18.

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Tags Abdou Diallo Adil Aouchiche Ander Herrera Angel Di Maria Colin Dagba Coupe de France Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting Idrissa Gueye Juan Bernat Julian Draxler Keylor Navas Kylian Mbappé Layvin Kurzawa Marco Verratti Mauro Icardi Neymar Pablo Sarabia Pau FC Presnel Kimpembe Sergio Rico Tanguy Kouassi Thiago Silva Thomas Tuchel
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